QUICK NOTE: XFINITY.com is the place to be for all of your bug-eatin’, back-stabbin’, “Survivor” coverage. During the season we’ll have insightful weekly Power Rankings, exit interviews, and full episode recaps. Follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute updates.
The Rules: Each week our two combatants will create separate power rankings. The ranking of the person who is voted out of the next episode will determine the number of points the players will earn. For example, if Michaela is voted out this episode, Adam will receive four points and Gordon will receive eight points. At the end of the season, the person with the most points will be named the “Survivor: Game Changers” Power Rankings Challenge Champion.
Last Week: Adam had Caleb in spot eighteen while Gordon had him in spot sixteen. So, the current score is Team Adam 18, Team Gordon 16.
Quick Note: Rankings are not based on who the player thinks is most likely to win. The smart strategy is to rank the contestants based on who is the most likely to be voted out in the next episode.
Adam’s Score = 18
Any questions for Adam? Drop him a line on Twitter: @AdamScottKlein
Gordon’s Score = 16
Any questions for Gordon? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes
|1. Troyzan: This is another tough week to rank with two tribes going to tribal council and an additional undisclosed twist (mentioned by Probst in an interview) that could shake things up. That said, I have a hard time imagining anyone in my top 8-9 going home this week. Troyzan shoots up to the top of my list with guaranteed protection stuffed into his crotch. As the lone ex-Mana member, Troyzan should remember to pull out his protection if he senses any danger. If he does, the question becomes: who takes the fall?||1. Troyzan: You’re alone and you’ve got an idol. You’d be a fool not to play it at the next Tribal if you’re in danger.|
|2. Sierra: Sierra has the legacy advantage, a tight alliance, and Hali on the side as another option. She seems to be sitting very, very pretty.||2. Brad: He interior (exterior) decorates and he’s smart enough to make it seem like Tai is making the decisions? He’s got a new Brad-ittude!|
|3. Brad: Brad was able to pull Tai cleanly onto his side (along with Sierra and Debbie), and seems to be in a great position on his tribe and in the game. Monica (and Martha Stewart) would be proud of not only his game so far, but also his home decorating.||3. Sarah: You can’t win “Survivor” before the merge, but you can sure lose it. Sarah is playing the perfect game for someone who is underestimated and trusted. She’ll have plenty of opportunities after the merge.|
|4. Michaela: Like I said last week, Michaela is an important challenge contributor and in a majority alliance. No worries. If she can continue to solidify trust with her old Mana teammates, she could be in a really good spot moving forward.||4. Malcolm: It looks like JT is going to try to take Sandra’s place as Malcolm’s shield. I think that’s the wrong play. Targeting Jeff or Aubry and offering Malcolm TWO shields seems much better.|
|5. Malcolm: Same boat as Michaela. I was worried about Malcolm’s ego, but there was no indication of it causing him any trouble in the last episode. He seems to be having fun and laying relatively low, which is exactly what he needs to do.||5. Tai: I couldn’t play with Tai. It seems like whoever gets his ear last gets his vote. So, while his chickens are allowed to run around leashless, if I were Brad and Debbie, I wouldn’t afford Tai the same luxury.|
|6. Jeff: I was worried that Varner would overplay the pre-merge again, but he seems to have done well with this swap and seems to feel good with the other former Manas on Nuku.||6. Zeke: The big question this week is going to be; if Tavua goes to Tribal, who will Troyzan idol out? I doubt he has any reason to target lovable Zeke at this point.|
|7. Zeke: According to a secret scene, Zeke is in an alliance with Cirie, Sarah, and Andrea, and believes that Ozzy trusts him more than anyone. That’s a great setup for him if his read of the situation is accurate. The only problem is he thinks Troyzan is an easy boot, but Troyzan has an idol. Luckily for Zeke, I don’t see him as Troyzan’s most likely target.||7. Varner: Holy cow! Look who won his first immunity challenge in sixteen years! I’m betting he’ll see his first merge since then pretty soon too.|
|8. Sarah: We haven’t heard too much from Sarah, but she seems to be in a solid majority, and isn’t being targeted by anyone. Should be safe for now.||8. Michaela: The swap really worked out for Michaela. The JTs and the Sandras of the world can duke it out while she improves on her challenge resume.|
|9. Debbie: Debbie seems to be working really well with Brad and Sierra, and seems to be pretty well trusted on her tribe. I don’t see anyone gunning for her next.||9. Cirie: Hopefully all of that Cirie vs. Ozzy chatter will calm down now that they need each other. I wouldn’t mind them pairing up as kind of a Micronesia-Renaissance-Brains-and-Brawn kinda duo.|
|10. Cirie: I think the show is making Cirie seem like she is in more danger than she really is. Zeke claims to be in an alliance with her (and Sarah and Andrea) in a new secret scene, and we see the two of them enthusiastically assuring each other after the swap, but we were led to believe that Cirie was on the outs at Nuku. Everyone loves an underdog, but I’m not sure Cirie really is one at this point.||10. Debbie: The Debbie/Brad pre-season alliance is in full force. What started as scribbling in a book is now a mighty force to be reckoned with. Their next challenge is; do you trust loose lips Tai or do you hope that Sierra is telling the truth when she says she has no ties to Hali? Tough call.|
|11. Sandra: JT was shown saying in the preview that “Sandra is dangerous,” but I think it’s a red herring. JT doesn’t have the pull to turn this group against Sandra, I don’t think. If JT is able to find that idol, I could see how Sandra might be in trouble, but the smarter move for JT would be to use the idol to get Sandra on his side. They would be much stronger together than against each other.||11. Aubry: Sandra wanted Aubry out in the first vote. Sandra voted for Aubry in the second vote. You might be tempted to work with JT, but this might be a better time to form something more concrete with Sandra.|
|12. Ozzy: Ozzy seemed to be doing well at Nuku, but if Zeke’s secret scene confessional is to be believed, he’s not as well-trusted as it looks like he is on the show. To me, it seems too early to get rid of Ozzy, but I’ve changed my mind about who might win out if the Cirie vs. Ozzy battle intensifies.||12. Sandra: One of Sandra’s greatest gifts is her ability to deflect attention away from herself. That’s why it was amazing that she couldn’t read the room better when goat-gate was going down. Fortunately though, I think too many people are invested in her survival at this point for her to go home.|
|13. Tai: In the commercial and preview, Tai can be seen running around the beach and talking about “fireworks tonight.” That could be a good thing and mean Tai will find an idol, or it could mean Tai is overplaying and going to get himself into trouble.||13. Ozzy: If an idol is played and Ozzy goes home, Tavua will be in big trouble at challenges. Then they’d need to consider keeping Troyzan around longer.|
|14. Aubry: In a secret scene, Aubry confesses to feeling like the odd one out amongst the former Mana members on Nuku. I am never going to feel like Aubry is safe as long as Sandra, who cast a vote against her already, is on her tribe. If there is any worry that JT has an idol, Aubry will likely take the fall.||14. JT: Your little boat stratagem would have been the stuff of “Survivor” legend if it had worked. And, goat-gate might’ve changed the way Sandra’s alliance feels about her. But, I’m betting you’re the most likely victim of the buff swap.|
|15. JT: I was hoping JT would find an idol in the last episode, but without one he seems to be in very serious danger. He wasn’t able to improve his position within his tribe at all, and he is still idol-less. I don’t think that JT’s “uprising” as teased in the preview will work, so I think it’s idol or bust.||15. Sierra: You claim that you aren’t close with your former Dirty 30 buddy but a pair of matching tattoos tells a different story. If you try to protect Hali too much you could find yourself Worlds Apart from the million.|
|16. Hali: Hali should probably be scrambling for an idol at this point. She has to realize that she is in deep danger of going home next if Mana loses again. Brad, Sierra, and Debbie seem tight, and now Tai has proven his loyalty to them by voting out Caleb. It wouldn’t make for brilliantly exciting television, but Hali is the most likely Mana member to leave the game.||16. Andrea: So, Troyzan has found an idol on his new island. Aaaand…the only person he seems to have beef with is you…|
|17. Andrea: Andrea should not be all the way down here. She should be right up there with Zeke and Sarah. In a secret scene, Andrea confirms that she is in a strong position and that there is no reason to include Troyzan in her plans. She calls him a “really easy vote off.” Unfortunately for Andrea, Troyzan now has an idol, and there was a scene with Troyzan in the last episode that heavily hinted at problems for Andrea in the near future. Andrea was the only person on the tribe that Troyzan has said anything negative about, so if the former Nukus stick together and vote for Troyzan, it is likely that he would send Andrea home with his idol. Combine that with low visibility in the first two episodes and Andrea seems to be in real deep trouble.||17. Hali: You were pretty lucky to survive last week’s vote. Caleb is probably the strongest person in the game and even if they wanted to break up the Tai and Caleb showmance it could’ve waited a while. The question now is; will Sierra have your back this time around, or will she stick with the former Nukuians?|
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes